COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – Two people died in a plane crash Sunday over Coeur d’Alene Lake in Idaho, and up to six others could be missing, county sheriff’s office confirmed from Kootenai.
According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, two planes collided and then crashed into Coeur d’Alene Lake at approximately 2:20 p.m. local time (4:20 p.m. ET).
The two planes have been located and are in 127 feet of water, he added.
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Lt. Ryan Higgins from the sheriff’s office confirmed that two bodies were found on the planes. The victims have not been identified.
He said initial reports suggested there were a total of eight passengers and crew on the two planes, but this is still being verified.
Investigators do not believe there were survivors of the accident and have not established the cause of the collision.
John Cowles told Spokane’s spokesperson that he was on the lake with his family at the time of the accident. Cowles said he saw what appeared to be an “engine explosion” on a seaplane flying less than 200 feet above him. One wing of the plane then separated and the plane fell into the water, he said.
Another witness, Patrick Pearce, told the newspaper that he saw two single-engine planes approaching, 800 to 900 feet above the water. Pearce, a pilot himself, said he recognized from the sounds of the engine that the two planes were moving at a fairly high speed.
The planes collided before crashing into the lake, said Pearce.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which will investigate the incident with the National Transportation Safety Board, said that one of the planes involved was a Cessna 206. They do not yet know the make and model of the other aircraft.